Full support for the medical scientists strike

All demands of these frontline workers must be met!

Statement from Mick Barry TD & Ruth Coppinger (Socialist Party/Solidarity)

“Today’s strike deserves the full support of every worker in the health service and in the country as a whole. No one can say that this strike is not fully justified these workers are paid less than others doing the same work, pay rates are so unfair that 20% of posts are vacant and strike action is being taken as a last resort.

The work performed by medical scientists is so vital that the health service cannot function properly without their contribution. Why then have they been treated so poorly?

The Government that mendaciously praised key workers during the height of the pandemic has refused to act on an injustice and is responsible for this strike being necessary.

Michael McGrath’s Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has just stonewalled, and Taoiseach Micheál Martin had the neck yesterday to call on workers who have waited years for justice to call off the strike.

At a time when workers across the country are being hammered by the cost of living crisis, a victory for the medical scientists would be a victory for all workers. The Irish Congress of Trade Unions needs to launch a powerful campaign involving demonstrations and industrial action to win pay rises for every worker which at least match the rate of inflation.

Such a campaign would need to put on the agenda also the need for rent freezes and cuts, a massive campaign of public housebuilding, and a one-tier secular and progressive health service with quality jobs and a free at the point of use service for all.

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The Socialist Party stands for a fighting trade union movement in the traditions of James Connolly and Jim Larkin. The capitalist market system serves only a tiny super-rich elite. We’re organising for a socialist alternative where the wealth and resources in society are publicly owned and democratically planned in the interest of all people and the planet.

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ONE HUNDRED and twenty thousand marched through Dublin in the biggest workers demonstration in 30 years. Following on from the success of the 21 February demonstration the ICTUs’ executive committee called for all of its affiliates to ballot their members in the South for a one-day national strike on 30 March. Here STEPHEN BOYD looks at the situation.